Qusay Hussein navigates the halls of Austin Community College's Eastview Campus. He's more than a month into his first classes as a college student. Something he will proudly share with anyone.
At 17, he was left for dead after a suicide car bombing in Iraq. He remembers the day very well. Hussein recalls playing volleyball with his brothers when a car drove out to the court. The driver smiled and that's when the car exploded.
"When the explosion happened I flew into the air and then I came down to the ground on my face," said Hussein. He decided to try to run which is when he was hit by shrapnel. The active teenager who dreamed of becoming a doctor was unrecognizable/
Hussein was placed in a room with the deceased victims. "When my dad came to the room I hear his voice and I say please dad don't leave me I will die," recalls Hussein.
U.S. Soldiers cared for Hussein at a medical hospital. He spent 12 days in a coma. He lost his vision and his nose was gone.
"I have a dream, I need to do something and I don't want people to bring me stuff," said Hussein. He realized that to follow his dream he had to leave Iraq. He first traveled to Jordan where he spent time with Doctors Without Borders. Hussein went through dozens of surgeries and even helped the organization.
In 2012, he sought refuge in Austin. He started going to church and transferred to ACC where he graduated with his GED. Now he's in college where he continues to follow his dream of becoming a doctor.
"I know there's no way to be a plastic surgeon now. They need vision but psychology with my experience in Jordan I love helping people. I love talking to them, guiding them, and I feel I'm capable of this job," Hussein proudly explained.
He thinks of his family often and the turmoil back home. ISIS controls the area where his family still lives. The terror organization has taken the town back many years making it difficult for Hussein to frequently talk to his family.
Hussein credits his faith and the team of nurses and doctors for where he is today.
"I'm thankful for each person who helped guide me. I'm thankful for everyone who helped me and God first," he said.
He hopes to graduate from ACC in May of 2018. Then, if everything works out, he hopes to transfer to the University of Texas. While in school he works as an interpreter for others who have come to Austin speaking Arabic.
Hussein turned to resources online
to help him get into school.
Follow Qusay's progress at www.qusayhussein.org